Kallal Medical Group offers extensive skin care solutions for their patients which includes Acne care, removal of Skin Tags, Moles, Warts and Lesions and the surgical treatment of Vericose Veins.
Sun Damage: Protecting Yourself
Staying out of the sun is the best way to avoid sun damage. Other precautions include using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding sunlight between in the middle of the day when UV rays are strongest.
What are the dangers of sun exposure?
The immediate danger of too much sun is sunburn. If you looked at sunburned skin under a strong microscope, you would see that the cells and blood vessels have been damaged. With repeated sun damage, the skin starts to look dry, wrinkled, discolored, and leathery. Although the skin appears to be thicker, it actually has been weakened and, as a result, it will bruise more easily.
However, the sun’s most serious threat is that it is the major cause of skin cancer, which is now the most common of all cancers. Doctors believe that most skin cancers can be avoided by preventing sun damage.
Complete our Risk factors for Skin Cancer Questionnaire to see if
you may have a high risk factor.
Does the sun have benefits?
You may have been taught that you need sunlight for your body to make vitamin D, because vitamin D is not found naturally in most foods. But today, many foods are fortified with vitamin D during the manufacturing process. Thus, sun exposure is not as important for the body’s vitamin D supply as it used to be. Of course, being outdoors makes most people feel good. And playing tennis is better for your health than watching television. But you can still protect yourself from the sun’s damaging effects while enjoying yourself outdoors.
How can I avoid the harmful effects of the sun?
Staying out of the sun is the best way to avoid sun damage, but most of us go outdoors regularly. So when you go outside, take these precautions:
- Always wear sunscreen. Apply it on your skin every day. Make it a habit, as you do with brushing your teeth.
- Avoid sun in the middle of the day, from about 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The ultraviolet rays, which cause sunburn, are strongest during this time.
- Wear protective clothing. When you do go outdoors, especially for long periods in the middle of the day. Long sleeves and slacks, as well as a wide-brimmed hat, help protect your body against the sun’s harmful effects.
- Wear sunglasses that filter UV light.
What is SPF in a sunscreen?
SPF stands for sun protection factor. The SPF number tells you how well the product will protect you from UVB, the burning rays of the sun. (Most sunscreens also absorb ultraviolet “A” rays, or UVA.) The higher the SPF number, the greater the amount of protection. Everyone should use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. If you have had a skin cancer or precancer, you should use a sunscreen with an even higher SPF. Many of the new sunscreens have SPFs of 45 or higher.
I don’t burn very often. Does this mean I can use a sunscreen with a low SPF?
If you were only trying to avoid sunburn, the answer would be “yes.” But protection from sunburn is not the most important reason for wearing sunscreen. You want to reduce damage from the sun. Your skin can be harmed by constant sun exposure, whether or not you see a burn. Remember, sunburn is an immediate reaction, but damage from the sun occurs over a lifetime. If you have had a skin cancer or pre-cancer, you should use an SPF of 30 or higher.
Who should use sunscreens?
Anyone who spends time outdoors should use a sunscreen.
- Men, women, and children.
- People who tan easily and those who don’t.
- Fair-skinned and dark-skinned people; people who already have tans.
People who already have tans and sunbathers, gardeners, and skiers.
Are sunscreens safe for children?
Yes. Not only are sunscreens safe for children over age 6 months, if used regularly in childhood they can prevent skin cancers from developing in later life. Recently, a researcher reported that if sunscreens were used regularly by children through the age of 18, there would be a 72% reduction in the cases of skin cancer later in life.
How should sunscreens be applied?
Sunscreens are very effective when used properly. Follow these guidelines to give yourself the most protection:
Apply the sunscreen at least 20 to 30 minutes before you go outdoors, whenever you will be exposed for 30 minutes or more.
Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours while you are outdoors, even if the product is labeled “all-day.” If you get wet or perspire heavily, reapply sunscreen more frequently.
Cover all exposed areas, including your ears, lips, face and back of your hands.
Don’t skimp; apply a generous layer. Smooth it on rather than rub it in. A rule of thumb is that 45 ml (a shot glass) of sunscreen is needed to cover all exposed skin to attain the stated level of protection.
Women should apply sunscreens under makeup. If you wait to apply sunscreen until you hit the beach, you may already be perspiring, and moisture makes sunscreens less effective.
My skin is sensitive. Should I skip the sunscreen?
Some sunscreens contain ingredients that may irritate the skin. If you know you react to specific ingredients, be sure to check the contents on the label. You can also ask your dermatologist to recommend a sunscreen.
However, the sunscreen may not be causing the reaction. Other products that come into contact with your skin, including perfumes, certain medications, and soaps, may make your skin more sensitive. Think about the products you have been using (especially new products), and stop using these one by one before you stop using the sunscreen. If you are not sure about the side effects of a medication you are taking, consult with your doctor or local pharmacist.
What is Acne?
Acne is the term for plugged pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and even deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and even the upper arms. Acne affects most teenagers to some extent. However, the disease is not restricted to any age group; adults in their 20s – even into their 40s – can get acne. While not a life threatening condition, acne can be upsetting and disfiguring. When severe, acne can lead to serious and permanent scarring. Even less severe cases can lead to scarring.
Who gets acne?
Close to 100% of people between the ages of twelve and seventeen have at least an occasional whitehead, blackhead or pimple, regardless of race or ethnicity. Many of these young people are able to manage their acne with over-the-counter (nonprescription) treatments. For some, however, acne is more serious. In fact, by their mid-teens, more than 40% of adolescents have acne severe enough to require some treatment by a physician.
In most cases, acne starts between the ages of ten and thirteen and usually lasts for five to ten years. It normally goes away on its own sometime in the early twenties. However, acne can persist into the late twenties or thirties or even beyond. Some people get acne for the first time as adults.
Acne affects young men and young women about equally, but there are differences. Young men are more likely than young women to have more severe, longer lasting forms of acne. Despite this fact, young men are less likely than young women to visit a dermatologist for their acne. In contrast, young women are more likely to have intermittent acne due to hormonal changes associated with their menstrual cycle and acne caused by cosmetics. These kinds of acne may afflict young women well into adulthood.
Acne lesions are most common on the face, but they can also occur on the neck, chest, back, shoulders, scalp, and upper arms and legs
Today, virtually every case of acne can be resolved. The key to getting rid of acne lesions and preventing new ones from forming lies in knowing that:
• Resolution takes time.
• What works for one person may not work for another.
• A dermatologist’s help may be required.
Resolution takes time. Treatments that promise “fast,” miraculous” or “overnight” results often capture the attention of acne sufferers hoping for quick resolution. However, the fact remains that acne does not clear overnight. On average, 6 to 8 weeks are needed to see initial results. Once acne significantly improves or clears, continued treatment is needed to keep acne from re-appearing. If acne does not improve in 6 to 8 weeks, treatment may need to be adjusted as not every acne treatment clears every case of acne.
What works for one person may not work for another. What is an appropriate treatment for one person may not clear another’s acne because many factors affect resolution, including the cause(s) of the acne, a person’s skin type and the kind of acne lesions present.
With so many factors affecting clearance and a multitude of treatment options available (some only by prescription), a doctor’s help can make a difference. Before prescribing treatment, we consider several factors, including the severity of the acne, types of lesions present, co-existing conditions, as well as the patient’s age, skin type, lifestyle and motivation.
The knowledge gained from considering these factors allows us to create effective individualized therapy that will resolve the patient’s acne over time and prevent new lesions from forming.
Sometimes we may combine two or more treatment options. A patient may be instructed to use one medication in the morning and the other at night. Or, two medications may be combined in one prescription medication. Due to possible side effects, over-the-counter medications should not be combined unless directed by a dermatologist or other medical practitioner.
Acne responds especially well to early treatment. Dermatologists recommend that acne be treated early to maximize effectiveness as well as help prevent scarring
Removals of Skin Tags, Moles, Warts, and Lesions
Benign lesions, such as moles, skin tags and warts are easily removed and treated right here in the office. These lesions are usually more of a nuisance to a patient than anything, and can affect all age groups.
Moles tend to develop over time and increase in number with age. Sometimes moles grow in areas that become irritated. Moles are removed through procedures such as shaving or excisions after local anesthesia to the area. Mole removal is performed in an aesthetically precise fashion to assure the best result. Some moles are very deep in the skin and require an excision with sutures.
Skin tags tend to occur in areas under higher friction, such as around the neck, in the armpits, or in the groin. They are benign, but in many cases, become very irritating and painful to the patient. Skin tags are removed by snip excision, freezing (cryotherapy) or electrocautery with very little recovery time.
Warts are growths on your skin caused by a viral infection. Types of warts include:
- Common warts, which often appear on your fingers
- Plantar warts, which show up on the soles of your feet
- Genital warts, which are a sexually transmitted disease
- Flat warts, which appear in places you shave frequently
In children, warts often go away on their own. In adults, they tend to stay. If they hurt or bother you, or if they multiply, you can remove them. Chemical skin treatments usually work. If not the warts can be frozen with cryotherapy.
Varicose veins usually announce themselves as bulging, bluish cords running just beneath the surface of your skin. They almost always affect legs and feet. Visible swollen and twisted veins — sometimes surrounded by patches of flooded capillaries known as spider veins — are considered superficial varicose veins. Although they can be painful and disfiguring, they are usually harmless. When inflamed, they become tender to the touch and can hinder circulation to the point of causing swollen ankles, itchy skin, and aching in the affected limb.
Besides a surface network of veins, your legs have an interior, or deep, venous network. On rare occasions, an interior leg vein becomes varicose. Such deep varicose veins are usually not visible, but they can cause swelling or aching throughout the leg and may be sites where blood clots can form.
Varicose veins are a relatively common condition, and for many people they are a family trait. Women are at least twice as likely as men to develop them. In the U.S. alone, they affect about 23% of all Americans.